There was a time when I could tell you anything about the Famous Five’s 21 adventures, as I had (and still do) every book in the series by Enid Blyton.
The ‘five’ win hands-down over the ‘secret seven’ in my mind, and I never really wanted to be a particular character, I think I just wanted to join them! I’d blame them for my border collie obsession, but since I already had a collie by the time I started reading the books, maybe that was the reason I loved the books so much. I so wanted to live in Dorset back then and be sent off to boarding school as well. With English grandparents who, although living in Australia with us, were partial to English style camping trips and picnics in their converted van (complete with little stove for tea, containers of pickled tomatoes and sandwiches and little cakes), I got to have my own little adventures with them. I think there were a fair few confused rural deli owners in South Australia who got annoyed with my constant request for ‘ginger pop’ (thankfully I now drink endless supplies of Luscombe Ginger Beer!)
It was the Famous Five books that inspired my childhood, and I was always outside pretending to be on adventures, and I even had my own caravan in the garden. Sadly most children now live in the electronic world and get bored without TV or smartphones. Yet I’ve still got that childish wish to hike around Dorset, ‘glamping’ in a gipsy caravan, explore Kirrin Castle (Corfe Castle) for treasure and look out at night for signs of smuggler’s lights in the coves of the Jurassic Coast. Maybe I will get to take my nieces and nephew, or another willing adventurer.